Before Christmas I read Gary Hamel's The Future of Management and it made an impression on me. Essentially he lays out the case for re-thinking our 100 year old organizational and management traditions. Others have done that before of course, but I believe he points us to some new angles in this discussion. One of them being the term management innovation rather than reorganizing. Does give another ring to it, doesn't it?
The book is propped with great examples of management innovation. Not rocket science stuff, but easily understood and straight forward things. Like the company that grants all travel expenses, but requires that you publish them openly on the company intranet. Or the company that lets anyone say no to meetings. Dig into the book and read what these ideas result in…
The message from Hamel as I interpret it is that we should design management to support the behaviors and results we wish to bring forward. Of course you say! But the thing is that the external enviroment has changed in a 100 years. But management practice has (in its core) changed very little. Hence, we generally are locking in behaviors that have become obsolete and stifle innovation and competetiveness. The innovators are instead designing their organizations for a new paradigm. Think Google. Think W.L. Gore.
I think these are very very important ideas with regard to the new world of work. Management practices are changing slowly. But this will need to accelerate. It has more or less become our obligation to make human organizations human again. It is time.
Well, don't take my word for it. Read for yourself ;-)